February 28, 2018

Day 24 - A Course in Miracles

Day 24 - A Course in Miracles

ACIM Workbook Lesson 24 Insights

“I do not perceive my own best interests.”

When I was growing up, I was often asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to do with your life?” I was given the impression that I needed to decide and that it was my job to decide my likes or dislikes, where I lived or who I lived with, or what I did with my time. I have thought that this individual life I appear to be leading was up to me and that I could find happiness by deciding on my own. Now I am finding that the opposite is true.

I am now learning that it is not my job to decide on my own because I do not perceive my own best interests. I am learning that my job is to step back and go into a place of quiet and ask the Spirit of Wholeness in my mind for direction. I am learning to practice remembering that on my own I do not know what my best interests are. But the good news is there is a Source of Wisdom and Love in my mind that does.

As I learn to practice stepping back more and more, I am finding that this Source of inner Wisdom does know what my best interests are and will lead me moment by moment to accomplishing my true purpose in this ‘life.’ I am learning that my real Life is in being the Love that I am and this real Life never changes and is eternal.

In the world of perception, the circumstances of my service does change. The form may change, but the Love stays constant. Removing the barriers to my remembering my true Identity is my fundamental purpose right now. It begins with remembering that I do not perceive my own best interests.

This lesson is helping me recognize that I don’t know as much as I think I know. It is helping me open my mind to be teachable. We’ve all seen little children decide that they want something and demand it, even though we can see that it is not in that child’s best interest. The child clearly thinks it is. What is not so clear is that most of the time we are like that little child, demanding that circumstances in our lives be a certain way to make us happy. Like the child who does not know the whole picture and all the effects of having what it demands, we have a limited perception and do not know all the effects of having what we think we want would have on us.In looking at my life experience, I can see many examples of when I insisted on things being a certain way, only to discover that I was not happy when I had it. There have been times when I had what I thought I wanted, and it appeared to be taken away. It was upsetting to me.

But I learned an affirmation years ago that I use many times in situations like those. It was, “I can hardly wait to see the good that comes from this.” To me this is another way of saying I do not perceive my own best interests. It is acknowledging that my perception is limited and that if I am willing to listen to my inner Teacher, I will receive what is helpful and learn what is helpful. In every situation in which I perceived loss, when I used this affirmation or something like it, great good did come from the experience — sometimes important turning points in my life.

Today’s lesson is a great tool to use whenever I believe I know what my best interests are. It is useful when I have believed I have lost. It is also helpful to use when I believe I have what I want to help me open my mind to a greater perception, with Holy Spirit’s help. It is a great reminder of the limits of my perception and an opening to let Holy Spirit give me His bigger picture. The more I can do this, the more peace and happiness I will allow in my life.

How can I see what is in my best interest with my ego eyes? I cannot. My best interest is the interest of the Oneself. That is far beyond the comprehension of the ego, even if it desired to understand my True Self’s best interest, which it does not. My ego expectations run amok, here, there, and everywhere like wild creatures, untamed and undisciplined. Thoughts going in all directions at once, each demanding attention.

My best interest is the interest of my true Self. I need Holy Spirit to show what this is in every moment. I can no longer pretend that I know what anything means. I give all expectations and all competing voices to Holy Spirit this day. Today I am willing to say I don’t know anything and I am willing to follow the lead of Holy Spirit. Only then is my best interest made manifest. Only then am I in love and peace, and surely love an peace are in my best interest.

Day 24

It should be noted that the opposite of pro is con. Strictly speaking, then, the opposite of projecting is conjecting. Other errors arise in connection with ancillary defenses, to be considered later. For example, dejection, which is obviously associated with depression, injection, which can be misinterpreted readily enough, in terms of possession fallacies (particularly penetration), and rejection, which is clearly associated with denial. It should be noted also that rejection can be used as refusing, a term which necessarily involves a perception of what is refused as something unworthy.

Projection as undertaken by God was very similar to the kind of inner radiance which the Children of the Father inherit from Him. It is important to note that the term “project outward” necessarily implies that the real source of projection is internal. This is as true of the Son as of the Father.

The world, in its original connotation, included both the proper creation of man by God, AND the proper creation by man in his Right Mind. The latter required the endowment of man by God with free will, because all loving creation is freely given. Nothing in either of these statements implies any sort of level involvement, or, in fact, anything except one continuous line of creation, in which all aspects are of the same order.

When the “lies of the serpent” were introduced, they were specifically called lies because they are not true. When man listened, all he heard was untruth. He does not have to continue to believe what is not true, unless he chooses to do so. All of his miscreations can disappear in the well-known “twinkling of an eye,” because it is a visual misperception.

Man’s Spiritual Eye can sleep, but as will shortly appear in the notes (reference Bob, elevator operator) a sleeping eye can still see. One translation of the Fall, a view emphasized by Mary Baker Eddy, and worthy of note, is that “a deep sleep fell upon Adam.” While the Bible continues to associate this sleep as a kind of anesthetic utilized for protection of Adam during the creation of Eve, Mrs. Eddy was correct in emphasizing that nowhere is there any reference made to his waking up. While Christian Science is clearly incomplete, this point is much in its favor.

The history of man in the world as he saw it has not been characterized by any genuine or comprehensive re-awakening, or re-birth. This is impossible as long as man projects in the spirit of miscreation. It still remains within him to project as God projected his own Spirit to him. In reality, this is his ONLY choice, because his free will was made for his own joy in creating the perfect.

All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception of man’s ability to USURP the power of God. It is again emphasized that he neither CAN nor HAS been able to do this. In this statement lies the real justification for his escape from fear. This is brought about by his acceptance of the Atonement, which places him in a position to realize that his own errors never really occurred.

When the deep sleep fell upon Adam, he was then in a condition to experience nightmares, precisely because he was sleeping. If a light is suddenly turned on while someone is dreaming, and the content of his dream is fearful, he is initially likely to interpret the light itself as part of the content of his own dream. However, as soon as he awakens, the light is correctly perceived as the release from the dream, which is no longer accorded reality. I would like to conclude this with the Biblical injunction “Go ye and do likewise.”

It is quite apparent that this depends on the kind of knowledge which was NOT referred to by the “Tree of Knowledge” which bore lies as fruit. The knowledge that illuminates rather than obscures is the knowledge which not only makes you free, but also shows you clearly that you ARE free.

The preceding sections were inserted because of the necessity of distinguishing between real and false knowledge. Having made this distinction, it is well to return to the errors already listed a while back. It might be well to recapitulate them here. 1) The first involved the fallacy that only the physical is real. 2) The second involved things rather than people. 3) The third involves the endowment of the physical with non-physical properties. And the fourth clarified the misuse of knowledge. All of them were subsumed under possession fallacies. The denial mechanism for 3) has already been set forth in some detail, and will also continue after the following:

(retyped section re horse-racing addicts, alcoholic deleted here—editor’s note)

Defenses aimed at protecting (or retaining) error are particularly hard to undo, because they introduce second-order misperceptions which obscure the underlying errors still further.

The pseudo-corrective mechanism of 3) {possession associated with “spirits”} is apt to be more varied because of the more inclusive nature of the error, which has already been mentioned. Some of the possibilities are listed below:

  • a) One aspect of the perceived possession/possessed conflict can be raised to predominance. If this is attempted in connection with POSSESSING, it leads to the paranoid solution. The underlying component of “being possessed” is retained in the “persecution” fantasies, which are generally concomitants.

  • b) If “being possessed” is brought to ascendance, a state of some sort of possession by external forces results, but NOT with a major emphasis on attacking others. Attack BY others becomes the more obvious component. In the more virulent forms, there is a sense of being possessed by demons, and unless there is vacillation with a) {possession vs. being possessed}, a catatonic solution is more likely than a paranoid one.

The FOCUSED paranoid has become more rigid in his solution, and centers on ONE source of projection to escape from vacillation. (Aside: It should be noted that this type of paranoia is an upside down form of religion, because of its obvious attempt to unify into oneness.)


Urtext – Use of Terms (Jesus – Christ)

The Name of Jesus is the Name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but at one with God.

 The man was an illusion, for he seemed to be a separate being, walking by himself, within a body that appeared to hold his self from Self, as all illusions do. Yet who can save unless he sees illusions and then identifies them as what they are? Jesus remains a Savior because he saw the false without accepting it as true. And Christ needed his form that He might appear to men and save them from their own illusions.


Urtext – Workbook for Students

24. “I do not perceive my own best interests.”

In no situation that arises do you realize the outcome that would make you happy. Therefore, you have no guide to appropriate action, and no way of judging the result. What you do is determined by your perception of the situation, and that perception is wrong. It is inevitable, then, that you will not serve your own best interests. Yet they are your only goal in any situation which is correctly perceived. Otherwise, you will not recognize what they are.

If you realized that you do not perceive your own best interests, you could be taught what they are. But in the presence of your conviction that you do know what they are, you cannot learn. The idea for today is a step toward opening your mind so that learning can begin.

The exercises for today require much more honesty than you are accustomed to using. A few subjects, honestly and carefully considered in each of the five practice periods which should be undertaken today, will be more helpful than a more cursory examination of a large number. Two minutes are suggested for each of the mind-searching periods which the exercises involve.

The practice periods should begin with repeating today’s idea, followed by searching the mind, with closed eyes, for unresolved situations about which you are currently concerned. The emphasis should be on uncovering the outcome you want. You will quickly realize that you have a number of goals in mind as part of the desired outcome, and also that these goals are on different levels and often conflict.

In applying the idea for today, name each situation that occurs to you, and then enumerate carefully as many goals as possible that you would like to be met in its resolution. The form of each application should be roughly as follows:

In the situation involving _______, I would like _______ to happen,
and _______ to happen,

and so on. Try to cover as many different kinds of outcomes as may honestly occur to you, even if some of them do not appear to be directly related to the situation, or even to be inherent in it at all.

If these exercises are done properly, you will quickly recognize that you are making a large number of demands of the situation which have nothing to do with it. You will also recognize that many of your goals are contradictory, that you have no unified outcome in mind, and that you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals, however the situation turns out.

After covering the list of as many hoped-for goals as possible, for each unresolved situation that crosses your mind say to yourself:

I do not perceive my own best interests in this situation,

and go on to the next one.

365 Days Through A Course in Miracles
            A Daily Devotional


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START DAY: You can begin any time with the Teachings! Read, meditate and make the daily exercises, one by one, every day ... for 365 days! Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, ... until the completion of the 365 lessons!